Muni Fiber and Politics

William Allen Simpson william.allen.simpson at
Fri Jul 25 17:03:10 UTC 2014

On 7/21/14 3:50 PM, William Herrin wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 3:08 PM, Blake Dunlap <ikiris at> wrote:
>> My power is pretty much always on, my water is pretty much always on
>> and safe, my sewer system works, etc etc...
> Mine isn't. I lost power for a three days solid last year, I've
> suffered 3 sanitary sewer backflows into my basement the last decade
> and you should see the number of violations the EPA has on file about
> my drinking water system. Only the gas company has managed to keep the
> service on, at least until I had a problem with the way their billing
> department mishandled my bill. Didn't get solved until it went to the
> lawyers.
> And I'm in the burbs a half dozen miles from Washington DC. God help
> folks in a truly remote location.
Woah!  Catching up on this thread -- AFAICT from public sources
you (Herrin) don't actually have municipal electric or gas, and
doesn't look like water/sewer either....

What you have are regulated monopolies, subject to what's known as
"regulatory capture".

I've lived in places with municipal power and water -- and also
under regulated monopolies.  Municipal beats the pants off them!

My gas company was bought by my electric company, so not even the
hint of power competition there.

My water/sewer company is "owned" by a big bankrupt city nearby,
but operated as a separate entity with poor oversight -- so it's
pretty much the worst possible case, indistinguishable from a
regulated monopoly.

Michigan used to have local cable boards, which were done away
with in the same law that outlawed municipal broadband.  Now we
have to make complaints about Comcast at the state level.  That's
just dandy. :(

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